What Is Windows Core OS?

Windows Core Os Featured

Windows 10 is now four years old, and Microsoft has begun to look towards the future. Flavors of it are available on everything from your PC to your Xbox. While they share the same name and some resources, they’re very different.

The Windows Core OS Project is Microsoft’s plan to develop one single OS for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What Is Windows Core OS?

Windows Core OS hasn’t been officially announced, but eagle-eyed watchers spotted this LinkedIn job description, with Microsoft looking to hire somebody for the team developing it. Given that Windows 10 is its current OS, it’s clear that Windows Core OS is intended to replace it.

Windows Core Os Linkedin Job Specification

Rather than develop the same operating system four or five times, each with different components, Microsoft wants to develop a single core OS. It takes “OneCore,” which is some of the shared code already in place, and develops this new OS around it. With this, it’ll build the new “ecosystem” mentioned in the job description.

With a single base, they can then prepare different versions with different features and settings far easier than has been the case with Windows 10.

It’s also important to note that Windows 10 is an evolution of previous Windows NT, starting with Windows NT 3.1 back in 1993. Any older and unsupported code can be swept aside with the newer, more platform-independent Windows Core.

How Is It Different than Windows 10?

At the moment, Microsoft has several different versions of Windows 10. They share some features, but you couldn’t install Windows 10 for Xbox on a PC, for instance.

Windows Core Os Windows 10 Versions

There are also new types of tech to think about: new mobile devices, newer formats, different sizes, and new platforms. CPU architecture, for instance, requires different versions with the same core interface.

To streamline the process, Windows Core OS (“AndromedaOS” in earlier leaks) will make this simpler. Any extra information on differences between Windows 10 and Windows Core OS will come with leaks, or via official announcements from Microsoft, in the near future.

What we can speculate is that “C-Shell.” a shared interface for Windows devices that’s already in development for Windows 10, will play a major part in the Windows Core OS ecosystem. “Polaris,” another leaked project codename, will build upon C-Shell to provide a common interface across all Windows Core OS devices.

When Will Windows Core OS Be Released?

Don’t expect Windows Core OS to hit your devices in the near future. Microsoft Core OS hasn’t been announced to the public, with information skimmed from job postings and profiles.

You might expect an initial release of Windows Core OS to take place one to two years after an official announcement. Windows 10, for instance, was announced in fall 2014 and then released in summer 2015. Windows 8, before it, was announced in early 2011 with the initial release in summer 2012.

There’s no chance of Windows 10 support ending any time soon, either. Microsoft releases new versions every spring and fall, and it’s likely that Microsoft will continue to develop new features and support for its current operating system for several years to come.

The Future of Windows

Windows Core OS is the next evolution of Microsoft’s central strategy for one platform, many devices. Windows 10 was the first stage, but Windows Core OS will streamline the process.

It’s still an internal Microsoft project, so it’s safe to assume that it’s still some years away. You can give Linux a try for a different desktop experience in the mean time.

Ben Stockton Ben Stockton

Ben is a UK based tech writer with a passion for gadgets, gaming, and general geekiness.


  1. Windows Core OS is a kludge; a one-size-fits-all compromise that may sound good in theory but will bomb in practice. Each device it is supposed to run on has its own specific requirements which will have to be coded for in the O/S. What is the absolute minimum size of Win 10 install? 10 GB for the sake of argument. When you start adding the necessary device-specific code, the O/S will grow too big to install on some of the simpler devices. Can an ARM processor run the same O/S as an i7 Intel or an A9 Rizen?

    “Microsoft has begun to look towards the future”
    Microsoft has been looking toward the future at least since 2011. That year, Microsoft mobile chief Andrew Lees was quoted as declaring that, “soon, there will be “a single ecosystem” for various devices running Microsoft’s software – phones, computers, tablets, TVs”. It didn’t come to fruition. Now you report that there are rumors that “Microsoft looking to hire somebody for the team developing it”. Is the effort going to be more successful now than it was in 2011 or is it going to fade into the woodwork again?

  2. Sad, that Microsoft has never been able to “keep up” with the times. They were late to the party with mobile phones, they were late to the party with tablets, with the cloud, and now they’re trying to “unify” their OS…..something which has been done already by Google with it’s Android, and by Apple with its iOS. As for Linux?…well thanks to its diversity and multitude of different desktops, interfaces, architectures, etc?….we (the Linux using community) don’t worry about a “unified OS”….we’d prefer to NOT have that….even when Ubuntu tried it with their Ubuntu One?….it wasn’t that well received by a lot of the community. Here’s the gist of it……
    We use Linux because we like being able to CHOOSE whatever it is we want to install…..remove…..swap out etc. And while a one-platform-many-devices system might SOUND appealing?….it removes that one ingredient: Choice. So there won’t be a massive exodus over to Microsoft’s Unified platform…at least not by the Linux / Open Source community.

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